Reactions From Canada

2019 Canadian Grand Prix, Sunday

Scandal in Canada: Sebastian Vettel lost his victory by a questionable steward decision. This is how the paddock reacted – all the voices here:

First, he swore on the radio, then he disappeared in the Ferrari Hospitality, later he rebuilt the place-plates for the winning car, put his number 2 plate in front of Hamilton’s Mercedes.

But what was really on Sebastian Vettel’s mind he revealed much later in an emotional speech in the press conference:

“I really love the old races, the old cars and old drivers,” said Vettel.

“I really love that, but I just wish I, as good as I am doing what I do, was in their time rather than today.

Then Vettel got more serious.

“You just hear the wording when people come on the radio, we sort of have an official language. We should be able to say what we think.

“I disagree with where the sport is now. You have all this wording, ‘I gained an advantage, I didn’t gain an advantage’.

“All this I think is wrong. It is not really what we should be doing in the car.”

Unfortunately, the stewards had a different view on their overhasty decision on Sunday.

The stewards, which included five-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner and former F1 racer Emanuele Pirro as the driver representative, judged that Vettel:

“rejoined the track at Turn 4 in an unsafe manner and forced car #44 [Hamilton] off track.”

After the “stolen” Vettel victory, the Scuderia appealed against the race-crucial five-second penalty for Sebastian Vettel. Ferrari press spokeswoman Silvia Hoffer confirmed whether Ferrari could appeal:

“We would have and we have done.”

Previously, the Scuderia officials and many paddock experts had already expressed their conviction that there was a case and that the penalty was too harsh against Vettel. Here are some reactions:

Ferrari Team Principal Mattia Binotto:
“We prefer to look forward, it was a good weekend, we’re the moral winner, at least that’s how we see it, we’re competitive, it just gives us more energy and we’re going to work even harder. We have to stay positive and we will, even if the decision may not be the right one.”

Regarding Vettel’s emotional behavior:
“Even more punishments would be unfair and you have to understand him in this situation.”

Lewis Hamilton:
“It’s a weird feeling, you don’t want to win races in such a fashion, you just want to overtake, I was much faster at that point, I pushed, then Seb made a mistake, came back and I had to avoid a collision. If you are off the track, you have to come back safely, as he saw the car, he closed the door and pushed me against the wall.”

Nigel Mansell:
“That’s ridiculous! Seb was doing a lot not to get into the wall, there’s just NO GRIP on the grass, and there’s no space on the track, what should he do? At that moment, he was just a passenger, very embarrassing. Very Very embarrassing. No joy in watching this race, two champions driving brilliantly, will end in a false result.”

Mercedes Team Principal Toto Wolff:
“When you get back on the track, you have to leave room for another car. I also understand, we do not need to discuss it, but personally, I see it as 60:40 pro penalty, but also completely understand when other people interpret it differently.”

Alexander Wurz (Chairman of the Drivers’ Union):”
That Vettel slipped so far off was a law of physics. No place for Lewis is “the name of the game” of street racing. What happened to #LetThemRace? Was it sketchy? Yes! a penalty? Not in my view!”

Helmut Marko to ABMS:
“Where should Seb have gone? He didn’t do anything wrong. Lewis can be glad he did not slip into his car. “

Damon Hill:
“Yes, he could have left more room, but in the process, we missed a great final because of the penalty. There was enough doubt to carry on .., remember Dijon. ” (Hill refers to the legendary duel between Gilles Villeneuve and Rene Arnoux, who had touched on several occasions, d. Red.) “My wife says that was f … Racing! I’ve had a word with her swearing in the house.”

Mario Andretti:
“Not acceptable! The Stewards should undoubtedly punish dangerous maneuvers, but not simple mistakes that arise from tough racing.”

Martin Brundle:

“It feels like a kick in the stomach. It’s okay that the FIA had a closer look at the scene – but it was the wrong decision in the end anyway. Now, of course, the discussions start, because opinions are like noses, everyone has one. “

Jenson Button:
“I believe we’re all in the same boat on this one. We want to see racing and there was nothing dangerous about the action, so the rules are the problem. And you have to look at them accordingly. “

*This article was first published in German at


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